Dare lives with his brother, his brother’s two boyfriends, and his close friend Sionn. Together they make up the band Desolation Angel and they have a following playing at the local bars. Since a young age, Dare has heard the music that lives inside of his head. It takes over and brings him to a dream-like state where everything is lost but the music. While this helps grow the collection of the band’s original songs, it prevents Dare from doing everyday tasks such as driving and cooking and holding down a job as he never knows when the music will pull him under.
Sionn has loved Dare since he was a kid. He thinks no one knows, but his close friends see right through him. When Dare gets lost in his mind yet again, Sionn lashes out, telling Dare that he needs help once and for all and Dare can’t see that Sionn loves him and Sionn certainly can’t see how Dare feels about him. Dare has always wanted to feel “normal” and as he attempts to get help, it sends the band into uncharted territory where relationships are strained and long held secrets are revealed. Then when the band gets noticed by the right people in the industry, they all need to pull themselves and the music together.
I was certainly interested in reading this book and also trying out the work of a newer author. Although the premise here was intriguing, there were many areas that didn’t work out for me. Dare was an interesting character and the book centered around him and his music, but there was also his brother, Tommy, and Tommy’s relationship with his two boyfriends.
The book started in the middle of the story as all of the guys had a lot of history and it was written as if we were expected to know all of this history. Dare knew Sionn from an early age, but their history is never shown or even told in any detail. We just have to accept that they have a close relationship and are secretly in love with each other. Tommy and the boyfriends had been together for years and how they got together and any of their early years in a relationship are never discussed. Then, when the three of them have a fight that’s a pivotal part of the story line, we are then supposed to care all about them, but the author didn’t allow us to get to know them individually or as a trio. Also, one of the boyfriends is Dare’s best friend and again we are simply just told this without any story to back it up.
This is an ensemble piece and I wouldn’t classify it as a romance if that is what you are looking for. Part of the story is Dare trying to figure out a relationship with Sionn, but again we meet them when they are already in love with each other and it’s not the focal point of the book. The focal point is Dare wanting to stop getting lost in the music so he can function as he wants and not be the burden he feels himself to be.
I also had issues with the language and the style of the dialogue used in the book. The guys all sounded much younger than their years and maturity was definitely lacking in many scenes. They spoke more casually using “outta” and “ya” as just two examples, which is fine in conversation, but didn’t work as well reading throughout so many passages and that was compounded by Sionn’s written Scottish accent. There was dialogue that read as awkward and off with the feel that it had been translated from another language. Then, when the guys go to a movie they are talking about ordering a beverage that was discontinued in 2009. All of this added together made for a book that worked against being able to get lost in it.
The book was highly predictable or perhaps obvious. There is something to be said for foreshadowing, but something else to be said for drawing the reader a map straight to the end. Add to this some additional side stories and a poor excuse for a stalker and the style and the execution were not for me. While technically this should be classified as a friends-to-lovers story, this aspect did not stand out and got lost with everything else that this story was trying to be.